Wilfried Zaha still rules Crystal Palace, but he is no longer alone as Chelsea borrower Conor Gallagher joins him with yet another goal for Patrick Vieira’s exciting side.
- Crystal Palace ended Wolves’ five-game unbeaten streak with a solid 2-0 win
- After a goalless first half, Zaha overcame the offside trap to break the deadlock
- The wolves thought they had a penalty but the VAR annulled the initial decision
- Palace would then double his lead through Conor Gallagher in the 78th minute.
It’s about time we talk about Crystal Palace. When they deservedly won at Manchester City last weekend, most of the post-match talk was about the champs’ woes.
“We need to talk about Kevin,” read a headline after a disastrous showing by the generally brilliant De Bruyne. Now we have to talk about Patrick.
The new boss Vieira has Palace within walking distance of the European places on the table. And they could be even higher: Four draws came before these back-to-back wins, two of which saw them concede very late draws.
Crystal Palace ended Wolves’ five-game unbeaten streak at Selhurst Park
Zaha slipped before finishing cleanly passing José Sa in the Lobos net.
But now the performances are turning into results. They are solid in the back and threaten the ball.
But Vieira’s greatest legacy so far is that they are now much more than a one-man gang dependent on Zaha.
In the last four seasons, Zaha missed 21 league games. Only three of those won. His average goals per game was 1.2 with him, 0.4 without him.
When Zaha plays, Palace does much better. That has not changed. He scored the first goal as they battled a stubborn side of the Lobos.
Conor Gallagher (right) was then available to smash the ball into the net and double the lead.
PALACIO DE CRISTAL (4-3-3): Guaita 6.5; District 7, Andersen 7 (Clyne 90 minutes), Guehi 7.5, Mitchell 6.5; McArthur 7.5 (Schlupp 80), Kouyate 6, Gallagher 8; Zaha 7.5, Edouard 7.5 (Olise 80), Benteke 6 (J Ayew 89).
Scorers: Zaha 61, Gallagher 78.
Admonished: Guehi, Olise.
Coach: Patrick Vieira 7.
WOLVES (3-4-3): Sa 6.5; Kilman 7.5, Coady 5, Saiss 6; Semedo 5 (Traore 68, 6), Moutinho 7, Neves 6, Ait-Nouri 6.5; Trincao 5 (Podence 68, 6), Jiménez 6.5, Hwang 5 (Silva 90).
Coach: Bruno Lage 6.
Referee: Graham Scott 7.
But as in Manchester seven days earlier, Conor Gallagher’s supreme talent won the match. He added a late second to put the game on the bed, just as the Wolves looked their best.
The plan to ‘bring the ball to Zaha and hope for the best’ is a thing of the past and the Ivorian also seems to be better for it: this is the first time he has scored in consecutive games in more than a year.
However, Gallagher was the name on the lips of fans. ‘Sign up,’ they chanted over the Chelsea loan.
As for the Wolves, where was the attacking prowess they displayed playing Everton out of the park on Monday? One positive is the talented defender Max Kilman. If he continues to progress, Conor Coady might not be the only Wolves man on the England team. But neither he nor Coady could keep Vieira’s talented side off for 90 minutes.
Zaha is still the lead singer, but now he has a few bandmates to share the load with him.